Mississippi College

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Excels at Mu Alpha Theta Competition

April 9, 2013

Students at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science went home with nine first-place trophies at the Mu Alpha Theta Competition at Mississippi College.

Of the 22 teams competing from high schools across the Magnolia State, the Columbus-based school was clearly No. 1 during their two-day visit to the Clinton campus ending April 8th.

Based on the campus of Mississippi University for Women, the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Sciences has competed in state Mu Alpha Theta conventions for 25 years, and they came well-prepared.

“Students and teachers practice in teams for several months to prepare for the convention,” said MSMS math teacher Shae Koenigsberger. “Certain senior members are designated leadership roles to ensure our success at the convention.”

Whatever is the school’s winning formula, they shouldn’t change it for a second.

Showcasing some of the state’s best math students, the Mu Alpha Theta competition tested their math skills with a battery of exams, whether the subject was Algebra 1, trigonometry or pre-calculus.

“We are happy to have them on campus. They represent some of the best students in the state,” said Mississippi College Mathematics Department Chairman John Travis.

Many of the teachers at schools involved in the competition are MC graduates, Travis noted.

Students came from Jackson Public Schools, Olive Branch High, and Clinton High to name a few.

With such stellar students competing from across the state, “we felt fortunate to come away with so many awards,” Koenigsberger said moments before boarding the school bus to return home Monday afternoon. “Our students worked extremely hard to reach this goal. This was my first experience participating in the event and I was fascinated by the enthusiasm and competitiveness shared among all students.”

The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is a public residential high school tailored to meet the needs of some of Mississippi’s most academically gifted high school juniors and seniors.

Mu Alpha Theta is the National High School and Two-Year College Honor Society with 93,000 student members in June 2012 enrolled in more than 1,950 schools. The group is dedicated to inspiring keen interest in mathematics and developing strong scholarship in the subject.

At the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, the student president of its Mu Alpha Theta chapter is Tanvi Rao and the convention preparation team leader is Shawn Gompa. Both students are from Clinton. The vice president is Huiying Zang of Starkville. Treasurer Dipa Patel and secretary Wilhelm Liano are also Starkville residents on the MSMS team. The group’s sponsors include Koenigsberger, Marlies Bearden and Claudia Carter. Carter has taught math at the school in Columbus for 25 years.

Last year’s mathematics competition was convened in downtown Jackson, but the event returned in early April to Mississippi College.

For more information, contact MC math professor John Travis at 601.925.3817 or travis@mc.edu.


Photo: Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students with their trophies at Mississippi College

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